These days I try to conduct a sweep of the Web every so often just to see of anyone or anybody has written anything new about the 44th Bomb Group or any aspects of history that might touch on my research. Today (May 17th) I was leafing through the website of the American Air Museum in Britain http://www.americanairmuseum.com/ when I noticed their entry for the 506th Bomb Squadron had an entry for 42-50535, there was the picture above. One copy was in the collection of the late Roger Freeman (the man who I believe coined the term “Mighty Eighth”) and another was in the squadron collection. I was able to register, log in and put a few details on the bare bones. Somehow the pic in the Freeman collection repeated same error that Joe Baugher originally noted, claiming that the Jalopy failed to return from a mission in March 24th, 1945. What no doubt happened was that someone noticed the MACR for the Jalopy’s only casualty, Sgt Anibal Diaz, who lost his life on March 23rd 1945, and assumed the MACR related to the loss of the aircraft. This may also account for a couple of other articles which state that March 24th, 1945 was the Jalopy’s final mission.
For the uninitiated, an MACR (Missing Air Crew Report) was filed whenever aircrew went missing in action. This may be a result of an aircraft being shot down or observed to crash, but it also applies, as in the case of Sergeant Diaz, to individual crew members who bailed out (or in Diaz’ case fell out) of the aircraft even though the aircraft returned home. I have seen cases of aircraft being associated with two MACRs. These were generated as a result of crew members bailing out of a stricken aircraft, which later made a safe landing in allied hands.
Anyway, I’m happy to have registered on the AAM site. I’ll try not to be a nuisance. 🙂